Fight ICE with fire: Against deportations, against the violent contradictions of the U.S. state, toward organizing resistance

Fight ICE with fire: Against deportations, against the violent contradictions of the U.S. state, toward organizing resistance

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Fight ICE with fire: Against deportations, against the violent contradictions of the U.S. state, toward organizing resistance

By Red Guards – Los Angeles

As the U.S. capitalist-imperialist state embraces the raw creeping-fascist white supremacy of the Trump administration, including Vice President Mike Pence and Chief Strategist Steve Bannon, the Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and the Department of Homeland Security are ideologically and materially emboldened, inspired and strengthened.

While this is not a qualitative change to the structure of the U.S. capitalist-imperialist state, (former President Obama still holds the record for deporting the highest amount of immigrants from the U.S., approximately 2.5 million) it nonetheless signals a new era of scapegoating and repression – that is, of masking the violent contradictions of the state.

Recent raid sweeps throughout the country, including in Austin, Phoenix and here in Los Angeles, have resulted in the rounding up of at least 160 immigrants with at least one confirmed deportation of Mexican mother-of-two Guadalupe Garcia de Rayos from Phoenix on Feb. 9.

Under the early period of the Trump presidency, he has made it clear that he is targeting undocumented immigrants with previous or current deportation proceedings, regardless of criminal history – which marks a change from the Obama administration.

This is a show of force and power for Trump’s administration, a flexing of the new administration’s white supremacist muscle, and part of his larger overall plan of honing and increasing repression on immigrants and Muslims, while the Black and trans communities bear the brunt of these attacks.

While not yet fascism, the U.S. is moving with fast-paced desperation to either hide or ignore the growing contradictions of capitalism-imperialism. Trump’s populist, supposedly anti-corruption, pro-(white)people rhetoric speaks to the crumbling economy, offshoring and outsourcing jobs, including from the manufacturing industry, to the disenfranchisement of many workers and families (but strikes an obvious white chauvinist chord with white people and the labor aristocracy in particular) and the need for resolving these capitalist contradictions. The bourgeoisie, with their own internal contradictions and subsequent struggle, is split on how to maintain order. Trump represents the more self-exposing and extreme pole within the bourgeoisie, the camp where fascism is born.

Millions of migrants and immigrants, which are all refugees in one capacity or another (war, neoliberal economic policies, femicide and patriarchal violence against women/non-men within the oppressed-oppressor national relationship.) have permanently and greatly altered the U.S. Using words like “great” or “improving” in the context of America and immigration sells the idea of the settler-colonialist capitalist-imperialist U.S. as something other than in need of violent destruction.

The push-pull nature of immigration in the U.S. reveals, for those still needing proof, the imperialist nature of the U.S. and the contradictions of 1.) its inability to have a long-lasting stabilized home-country workforce caused by a reckless-yet-perfected economic system of commodity production, 2.) capitalism’s necessary dependence on a cheap surplus labor, and in particular the reserve army of labor (where migrants and immigrants are) in and outside of the U.S. 3.) capitalism’s need to have both consumers and workers – workers to afford to consume, and so the forever-balancing act of increasing wages while increasing cost of commodities yet not increasing wages enough to affect the proportionality of the profit extracted from labor.  

This particular characteristic of U.S. capitalism-imperialism’s reliance on immigrant labor has reinforced the U.S. economy extraordinarily. But it is nothing new.

Near the very founding, in conjunction with the indigenous genocide, of the settler-colonialist U.S., immigrant labor has been used to build U.S. capitalism, materially and ideologically – by having immigrants be the constant and convenient scapegoat to mask the contradictions of capitalism.    

Like historian Hasia Diner has stated in an article published on the U.S. Embassy’s official website – which, ironically or bluntly and proudly – states that immigrants and their collective oppression and exploitation made the settler-colonialist U.S. what it is today:

Like many other settler societies, the United States, before it achieved independence and afterward, relied on the flow of newcomers from abroad to people its relatively open and unsettled lands. It shared this historical reality with Canada, South Africa, Australia, New Zealand, and Argentina, among other nations.

Diner correctly highlights a much often overlooked reality of the role of the U.S. in allowing mass immigration; it wasn’t out of some nostalgic longing for European culture – as the first immigrants were white – or out of some necessity to show the world the goodness of the U.S. to lead by example as a new nation as “a beacon of hope”; immigration was allowed and encouraged because the U.S. economy demanded labor, and the continued (outright as opposed to the modern-day mass imprisonment) enslavement of New Afrikans, Chicanx and indigenous peoples was becoming, more and more, outmoded. The continued necessity of resource-extraction, farming, lumbering, etc., persisted. And it still does today.

Now with the immigration raids currently happening throughout the U.S., the state and its appendages, including many of the class-traitor and white nation-supporter nonprofits, many immigrants not listed in deportation orders are being swept up in house and workplace raids. This is done to boost the numbers of deportations under Trump’s belt, even though ICE claims these raids were planned long before Trump rose to power. Either scenario is unforgivable and an act of state terrorism against the people. ICE and Homeland Security are enemies of the people, particularly migrants and immigrants, and those agencies should be met with the rage and fire of proletarian and revolutionary organizations and bold acts of resistance.

Like the comrades in Phoenix who risked bodily harm and arrest (and many were) by obstructing ICE vans – with Guadalupe Garcia inside, this tactic should be replicated but enhanced. It should be noted that revolutionary obstruction, sabotage and other forms of direct action have been employed by undocumented militants in the past. And so immigration raids should continue to be met with obstruction. Immigration officers and federal pig-agents should be turned away, if and when possible. ICE vans should not be allowed to move an inch. Revolutionaries and radicals should put their bodies, if able, on the line literally. Especially folks with citizenship. But not just one or two. Hundreds, thousands. Connections with progressive lawyers should be created or kept and maintained – with necessary and consistent fundraising for bailing comrades out. The streets should be blocked. Entire neighborhoods should pour out into the streets to demand that ICE leave the community and or to release immigrants caught up in raids. Progressive media, especially Spanish-speaking media, should be called to immediately respond. Religious organizations and progressive pro-immigrant organizations and labor unions (not the white-supremacist labor aristocrats of the Teamsters, the International Union of Operating Engineers, the Laborers’ International Union of North America or other AFL-CIO unions who prioritize their own well-being over the indigenous and immigrant and migrant communities) should be called to immediately mobilize.

And all this has to be done under the discipline and centrality of defending a community under attack by the state and its supporters through their direct participation and guidance. We call this a united front, principally against fascism. What we don’t need are roving groups of activists going from protest to protest with no clear ideological unity or strategy, elevating tactics – even militant ones – as a supposed strategy. We call this movementism.

Red Guards – Los Angeles help found a new coalition, Smash Fascism – Los Angeles, to unite all who can be united in confronting fascism and the repressive state apparatus.

Smash Fascism – Los Angeles is working toward mobilizing rapid-response committees where persecuted people can be transported to sanctuary places of worship (where ICE and Homeland Security pig-agents are barred from entering), committees where people can arrive and act in solidarity – but material, forceful, fiery solidarity.

All neighborhoods should be mobilized to protect themselves, especially against ICE. Build the fire of proletarian and revolutionary organizations to fight ICE! All progressives, radicals and revolutionaries should unite to grow the united front against fascism and grow Smash Fascism – Los Angeles’ committees!

Fight ICE with fire!
Fuck Trump!
Fuck the pigs!
Build up the united front against fascism!
Build up the rapid-response committees of Smash Fascism – Los Angeles!

 

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Smash Fascism Los Angeles

Hello,

We are reaching out to you today in light of the recent election of Donald J. Trump as president of the United States. Any observer among the left, among religious minorities, among immigrant’s right groups, women’s rights groups, LGBTQIA+ rights groups, or observers from practically any other progressive perspective has likely been appalled by the results of this presidential election and its future ramifications.

But beyond the immediate results of this election, we also find appalling the fact that the election of Donald Trump is just one further symptom of a broader trend of right-wing populism, nationalism, and fascism, that has been sweeping across much of the United States and Europe. The recent withdrawal of the United Kingdom from the European Union on the basis of nationalist and anti-immigrant sentiments, the surging popularity of the Front National in France, Pegida in Germany, the Golden Dawn in Greece, and countless other right-wing nationalist groups growing in popularity in Western countries, the intense backlash against Syrian immigrants in Europe, all of these are evidence of a global trend towards right-wing ultra-nationalism of which the election of Donald J. Trump is just a USAmerican manifestation.

In light of these horrifying developments we believe the time is long overdue for a united front of progressive organizations that will be willing to stand together to combat this rising tide of right-wing nationalism, and that will be willing to stand directly in defense of the communities most likely to suffer immediate consequences should this movement continue to grow and gain power. That is the purpose of this letter: we are asking that any and all organizations with a willingness to unify around this common cause host an emergency assembly to determine what would be the terms of our unity, where we can find agreement in terms of the enemy we are facing, and what actions we are willing to immediately take in order to be proactive in the defense of ourselves and our communities.

Anyone well acquainted with the the 20th century history of Europe would have great reason to be alarmed in light of these recent global developments. The historical parallels between the rise of Donald Trump in the US today, and the rise of Mussolini and Hitler in the 1920s are too blatant to ignore. Donald Trump is a demagogue. This election cycle he was masterfully able to play to the genuine sentiments of disenfranchisement and disillusion that many white, working-class voters from Middle USAmerica are feeling, and was able to play on their latent (and often overt) racism in order to redirect much of their economic frustration onto groups that have been traditionally economically, racially and religiously oppressed. In doing so, he has also awakened the many white-nationalist and fascist groups around the United States, who feel as though they once again have a champion of their ideas in the White House and who have been, over the last few years, emboldened to take direct action against the communities on which they place the blame for their economic woes.

This combination of a right-wing demagogue in power and a litany of racist and fascist gangs around the country being emboldened by his rhetoric is very scary indeed. What we are seeing resembles very closely the sort of Nationalist sentiments that Adolf Hitler was able to arouse in Germany, the paramilitary gangs he was able to embolden that eventually became the so-called “brown shirts”, and the general scapegoating of traditionally oppressed minorities. We have heard the saying so often that we take it for granted, but what does it mean that “those who do not know history are doomed to repeat it”? What does it mean for us particularly at this moment in time?

The history of Nazi Germany and the preceding history of the Wiemar Republic is certainly too long and complex for us to be able to thoroughly detail in a simple letter, but there are certain aspects of this history that we do not feel we can leave out as we make this plea to you for a united front. We do not want to mince words: the movement that we are witnessing, with or without Donald Trump, is a movement towards open fascism in the United States. Trump taking the reigns of the presidency is not in and of itself the victory of “fascism” proper, but it is an enormous step in that direction and the time is now for us to be proactive in preventing the repetition of the tragic history of Germany and Italy in the middle of the last century. The history of the Wiemar Republic that we do not wish to see repeated is the abject failure of the left progressive and left-religious organizations to assemble a united front against the growing fascist movement.

Following an incomplete revolution in Germany in 1918, the “Social Democrats” gained power in the parliament and came with a whole host of promised reforms and policies to better the lives of downtrodden and working class German people. Ultimately, due to the constraints of the bourgeois democratic system that existed in Germany at the time which the revolution was not able to completely undo, the Social Democrats were not able to deliver on their promises to working class people. In this environment, the Nazi’s were able to capitalize on the continuing discontent of the people, who felt as though the Social Democrats in power had failed them. Additionally, by consistently urging the people of Germany to put their faith into the Social Democrats and to put their faith into the bourgeois democratic structures in which they operated, the working-class and oppressed people of Germany never conspired to create expansive working-class structures of power on their own to provide for their own needs and defenses.

Years and years of putting their faith into the “lesser evil” culminated in the elections of 1932, in which the people were again urged to vote for Baron Von Hindenberg as the “lesser-evil” to Hitler and his Nazi party. Hindenberg was elected and soon after appointed Hitler as Chancellor of Germany. This marked the ascension of the Nazi party to power in Germany, the emboldening of the fascist paramilitaries that had been bubbling just beneath the surface of “liberal” German politics, and the ultimate tragedy that followed. Furthermore, because the people of Germany had consistently put their faith into the “democratic” system headed up by the Social Democrats, no external base of power for themselves was ever established, and when the fascist paramilitaries immediately began their crackdowns on working class people—trade unionists, the poor, disabled, religious minorities, etc. these groups were absolutely defenseless and were slaughtered at the hands of the Nazis.

This is the most important historical lesson we believe we must draw from the history of fascism in the 20th century: without a unified movement of working class, oppressed religious and racial minorities, we will find ourselves helpless in the face of the racist gangs which a Trump presidency is currently emboldening and dog-whistling. We cannot rely on the very system of government that created the conditions in which Trump was able to rise to save us from the mess we are facing. Those in government, the liberals and the progressives, are currently holding the door open for Trump as he assumes the reigns of power and appoints open white-nationalists like Steve Bannon to important positions in his presidential cabinet. These elected liberals and progressives in government are like the Social Democrats of Wiemar Germany who insisted the German people “give Hitler a chance” right before appointing him Chancellor of the country.

We cannot continue to neglect building this united front outside of the system and hope that Democratic or liberal challengers in elected positions will put up the requisite fight to defend the communities most at risk from this growing movement. We have to do it ourselves. We have a historical duty to do it ourselves, to learn the mistakes that were made in the 20th century and to not repeat them. Only the broad masses of people, and the organizations to which they belong and which represent them, organized and ready to take action on their own accord, will be sufficient to stop the horrors which await our communities if we do nothing.

We propose that sometime within the next four weeks, any organization who wishes to join to this united front determine a time which would be best suited for a city-wide meeting, determines a number of delegates from their organization who will attend this meeting to represent them, and that they draft up whatever key points could be determined ahead of time that would be necessary for their unification with such a united front.

We do not expect that anyone who wishes to join into this Front with us agrees completely with our political outlook. We believe that these are questions that can be settled later. For now, we believe there is a common enemy in the Far Right, white nationalism, and fascism, and that if we do not agree on a course of action for our communities now it may be too late for us sometime in the near future. Please join us in this struggle. We hope to hear from you soon. We are open to suggestions on how this meeting should be coordinated and organized, so please respond indicating your willingness to join or not to join such a front, as well as any suggestions you may have. When we have heard back from all the organizations contacted, we will reach out with a further email indicating a location and a time for the meeting.

If you have any questions please send us an email smashfascismla@gmail.com

Thank you.

In solidarity,

Red Guards – Los Angeles
Ovarian Psycos
East LA Brown Berets
Union de Vecinos
Serve the People – Los Angeles
BHAAAD
El Sereno Against Gentrification
Backyard Brigade
La Raza Unida
IDEPSCA
Eastside Greens
Smash Fascism – Los Angeles

 

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Hola,

Nos dirigimos a ustedes hoy a la luz de la reciente elección de Donald J. Trump como presidente de los Estados Unidos. Cualquier observador en la izquierda, en las minorías religiosas, en los grupos de derechos de los inmigrantes, grupos de derechos de la mujer, grupos de derechos LGBTQIA + u observadores de prácticamente cualquier otra perspectiva progresista, probablemente han quedado consternados por los resultados de esta elección presidencial y sus futuras ramificaciones.

Pero más allá de los resultados inmediatos de estas elecciones, también nos horroriza el hecho de que la elección de Donald Trump es otro síntoma de una tendencia más amplia del populismo de derecha; el nacionalismo y el fascismo, que han estado arrasando gran parte del Reino Unido Estados Unidos y Europa. La reciente retirada del Reino Unido de la Unión Europea basada en sentimientos nacionalistas y anti-inmigrantes, la creciente popularidad del Frente Nacional en Francia , Pegida en Alemania, Amanecer Dorado en Grecia e innumerables grupos nacionalistas de derecha que crecen en popularidad en los países occidentales y la reacción intensa contra los inmigrantes sirios en Europa. Todo esto es evidencia de una tendencia mundial hacia el ultranacionalismo de derecha de la cual la elección de Donald J. Trump es sólo una manifestación americana.

A la luz de estos terribles acontecimientos, creemos que a llegado la hora para un ya necesario Frente Popular de organizaciones progresistas que esté dispuesto a unirse para combatir esta creciente oleada de nacionalismo derechista y que esté dispuesto a defender directamente a las comunidades más propensas a sufrir consecuencias inmediatas por esta situación si este movimiento continúa creciendo y ganando poder. Ese es el propósito de esta carta: estamos pidiendo que todas y cada una de las organizaciones con la voluntad de unirse alrededor de esta causa común se unan a la invitacion a una asamblea de emergencia para determinar cuáles serían los términos de nuestra unidad, donde podemos encontrar acuerdos en términos del enemigo que estamos enfrentando, y qué acciones estamos dispuestos a tomar de inmediato para ser proactivos en la defensa de nosotros mismos y nuestras comunidades.

Cualquier persona que conozca bien la historia del siglo XX de Europa tendra fuertes razones para alarmarse a la luz de estos recientes acontecimientos mundiales. Los paralelos históricos entre la subida de Donald Trump en los EEUU hoy, y la subida de Mussolini y de Hitler en los años 20 son demasiado obvios como para ser ignorados. Donald Trump es un demagogo. Durante este ciclo electoral el fue magistralmente capaz de jugar con los genuinos sentimientos de privación de derechos y desilusión que muchos blancos votantes de clase trabajadora de la América media han estado sintiendo, y fue capaz de jugar con el racismo latente (y con frecuencia manifiesto) entre ellos para redirigir mucha de su frustración económica hacia grupos tradicionalmente oprimidos desde el punto de vista económico, racial y religioso. Al hacerlo, también ha despertado a los numerosos grupos blancos-nacionalistas y fascistas alrededor de los Estados Unidos, que se sienten como si una vez más tienen un campeón de sus ideas en la Casa Blanca y que han sido, en los últimos años, envalentonados Para tomar acción directa contra las comunidades a las que culpan a sus aflicciones económicas.

Esta combinación de un demagogo derechista en el poder y una letanía de bandas racistas y fascistas en todo el país que se envalentonan con su retórica es aterradora. Lo que estamos viendo se asemeja mucho al tipo de sentimientos nacionalistas que Adolf Hitler despertó en Alemania, a las bandas paramilitares que pudo envalentonar y que finalmente se convirtieron en las llamadas “camisas marrones”, y el chivo expiatorio general de las minorías tradicionalmente oprimidas. Hemos escuchado el dicho tantas veces que lo damos por hecho, pero ¿qué significa que “aquellos que no conocen la historia están condenados a repetirla”? ¿Qué significa para nosotros particularmente en este momento en el tiempo?

La historia de la Alemania nazi y la historia precedente de la República de Weimar es ciertamente demasiado larga y compleja para que podamos detallarla a fondo en una simple carta, pero hay ciertos aspectos de esta historia que no creemos que podemos dejar de lado conforme hacemos esta súplica para un Frente Popular unido. No queremos suavizar las cosas: el movimiento que estamos presenciando, con o sin Donald Trump, es un movimiento hacia el fascismo abierto en los Estados Unidos. La toma de Trump de las riendas de la presidencia no es en sí la victoria del “fascismo” propiamente dicho, pero es un enorme paso en esa dirección y ahora es el momento para que seamos proactivos en la prevención de la repetición de la trágica historia de Alemania y en Italia a mediados del siglo pasado. La historia de la República de Weimar que no deseamos ver repetida es el abyecto fracaso de las organizaciones izquierdistas progresistas e izquierdistas de reunir un frente popular unido contra el creciente movimiento fascista.

Después de una revolución incompleta en Alemania en 1918, los “socialdemócratas” ganaron poder en el parlamento y vinieron con toda una serie de reformas y políticas prometidas para mejorar las vidas de los oprimidos y de la clase obrera alemana. En última instancia, debido a las limitaciones del sistema democrático burgués que existía en Alemania en el momento y que la revolución no fue capaz de deshacer por completo, los socialdemócratas no pudieron cumplir sus promesas a la clase trabajadora. En este ambiente, los nazis fueron capaces de capitalizar con el descontento continuo del pueblo, que sentía como si los socialdemócratas en el poder les hubieran fallado. Además, al instar constantemente al pueblo de Alemania a depositar su fe en los socialdemócratas ya poner su fe en las estructuras democráticas burguesas en que operaban, el pueblo obrero y oprimido de Alemania nunca conspiró para crear estructuras expansivas de la clase obrera De poder por si mismos para cubrir sus propias necesidades y defensas.

Años y años de poner su fe en el “mal menor” culminaron en las elecciones de 1932, en las que se volvió a pedir al pueblo que votara por el barón Von Hindenberg como el “mal menor” de Hitler y su partido nazi. Hindenberg fue elegido y poco después designó a Hitler como Canciller de Alemania. Esto marcó la ascensión del partido nazi al poder en Alemania, el envalentonamiento de los paramilitares fascistas que bullian bajo la superficie de la política alemana “liberal” y la tragedia final que siguió. Además, como el pueblo de Alemania había depositado su fe en el sistema “democrático” encabezado por los socialdemócratas, nunca se había establecido una base externa de poder para ellos mismos y cuando los paramilitares fascistas comenzaron de inmediato sus medidas represivas contra la clase obrera, Sindicalistas, pobres, discapacitados, minorías religiosas, etc. Estos grupos estaban absolutamente indefensos y fueron asesinados a manos de los nazis.

Esta es la lección histórica más importante que creemos que debemos extraer de la historia del fascismo en el siglo XX: sin un movimiento unificado del pueblo trabajador, de minorías religiosas y raciales oprimidas, nos encontraremos desamparados ante las bandas racistas que La presidencia de Trump está envalentonando y motivando. No podemos confiar en el mismo sistema de gobierno que creó las condiciones en las que Trump pudo levantarse para salvarnos del lío que estamos enfrentando. Los que están en el gobierno, los liberales y los progresistas, están actualmente manteniendo la puerta abierta a Trump cuando asume las riendas del poder y nombra a blancos nacionalistas declarados como Steve Bannon a posiciones importantes en su gabinete presidencial. Estos liberales elegidos y progresistas en el gobierno son como los socialdemócratas de Alemania de Wiemar que insistieron que el pueblo alemán “diera a Hitler una oportunidad” justo antes de nombrarle canciller del país.

No podemos seguir ignorando la necesidad de la construcción de este Frente Popular unido fuera del sistema y espera que los partidarios demócratas o liberales en posiciones elegidas presenten la lucha necesaria para defender a las comunidades más expuestas a este creciente movimiento. Tenemos que hacerlo nosotros mismos. Tenemos el deber histórico de hacerlo nosotros mismos, de aprender los errores que se cometieron en el siglo XX y de no repetirlos. Sólo las amplias masas de personas y organizaciones a las que pertenecen y que las representan, organizadas y listas para actuar por sí mismas, serán suficientes para detener los horrores que esperan nuestras comunidades si no hacemos nada.

Proponemos que en algún momento dentro de las próximas cuatro semanas, cualquier organización que desee unirse a este Frente Popular determine un momento que sería el más adecuado para una reunión de toda la ciudad, determine a una serie de delegados de su organización que asistirán a esta reunión para representarles Y que redacten los puntos clave que se podrían determinar con antelación para su unificación con un Frente Popular.

No esperamos que cualquiera que desee unirse a este Frente con nosotros esté totalmente de acuerdo con nuestra perspectiva política. Creemos que estas son preguntas que se pueden resolver más adelante. Por ahora, creemos que hay un enemigo común en la extrema derecha, el nacionalismo blanco y el fascismo, y que si no estamos de acuerdo en un curso de acción para nuestras comunidades ahora puede ser demasiado tarde para nosotros en algún momento en el futuro cercano. Por favor, únase a nosotros en esta lucha. Esperamos saber de usted pronto. Estamos abiertos a sugerencias sobre cómo esta reunión debe ser coordinada y organizada, así que por favor responda indicando su disposición a unirse o no a unirse a este frente, así como cualquier sugerencia que pueda tener. Cuando hayamos recibido noticias de todas las organizaciones contactadas, nos comunicaremos con un correo electrónico adicional indicando la ubicación y el momento de la reunión. Gracias.

En solidaridad,

Red Guards – Los Angeles
Ovarian Psycos
East LA Brown Berets
Union de Vecinos
Serve the People – Los Angeles
BHAAAD
El Sereno Against Gentrification
Backyard Brigade
La Raza Unida
IDEPSCA
Eastside Greens
Smash Fascism – Los Angeles